- ISSSAN says the primary concern is the welfare of workers or steel sector employees and how the outcome of the concession process will affect their welfare.
- The Union finds absolutely unacceptable its non-inclusion in the process, as this puts the workers in the dark as to the protection of their livelihood.
- President Buhari’s administration agreed to a $496 million settlement to complete the Ajaokuta concession process.
Nigeria’s Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSSAN) expressed their concerns over the planned Ajaokuta Concession, citing how the outcome of the concession will affect workers’ welfare.
They also used the opportunity to voice their displeasure over not being included in the concession process, in a statement by its National President, Mr Kolawole Mustapha, and General Secretary, Mr John Odigie, on Monday.
President Muhammadu Buhari said that reviving the Ajaokuta Steel complex through a concession will immensely benefit Nigerians, revealing that the concession process of the Ajaokuta Steel process has cost the Federal Government over $ 400 million.
The Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSSAN) said the FG’s plans to concession the Ajaokuta Steel and National Iron Ore Mining Companies in Kogi did not include stakeholders meetings and due diligence on the companies, they said:
- “ISSSAN’s primary concern is the welfare of workers or steel sector employees and how the outcome of the concession process will affect their welfare.
- “This is especially in this instance where there is no workers’ voice in the process, as the saying goes ‘he who wears the shoe, knows where it pinches’.
- “ISSSAN, therefore, finds absolutely unacceptable its non-inclusion in the process, as this puts the workers in the dark as to the protection of their livelihood in the build-up to concluding the process.“
The Union urged the FG to ease the concerns of ISSSAN and its members by making the concession process all-inclusive and inviting stakeholders and relevant representatives adding that anything short of that means the process would be flawed and viewed as a deliberate design to excise ‘stakeholders’ issues and ISSSAN’ from the process and ignore steel sector employees’ interest.
- “On this note, ISSSAN wishes to categorically state that it will not sit idly by while the interests of its members are being wilfully trampled and ignored by those who should know better.“
What you should know
Recall Nairametrics reported this year that The Nigerian Government’s plan to concession the Ajaokuta Steel Company might soon be realised as the final $50 million payment to complete the $496 million settlement was to be completed by February 2023.
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, explained that the Obasanjo administration, where Atiku served as a Vice, had agreed to a concession agreement with Global Steel Industry in 2004. But the deal failed to pull through, so the Buhari administration agreed to the $496 million settlement.
He added that Global Steel Industry took Nigeria to court, asking for seven billion dollars. The case lingered for 12 years, which was later settled by the present administration, which finally settled for $496 million.
The Minister said that FG initially made a bulk payment of 250 million dollars and agreed to pay the balance in five instalments.
- “To date, we have paid 446 million dollars out of the 496 million dollars. We will make the last payment of 50 million dollars next month and Ajaokuta will revert fully to us – ending the shameful and failed concession by the administration in which Alhaji Atiku Abubakar served as the vice president.”
He also revealed that FG is already in talks with companies, over a concession deal once the payment is made, who he says are ready to invest in the steel complex.
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